OSF- Reproducibility Project tries to replicate the results published in three psychological journals

Posted: April 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: journals, Opinion | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

“If you’re a psychologist, the news has to make you a little nervous…”. With this statement Tom Bartlett introduced his article  “Is Psychology About to Come Undone?” in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The source of his fears is the Reproducibility Project  – a group of researchers that aim to replicate every study within the three journals Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition published in the year 2008.

The project is part of Open Science Framework (OSF), a group that is interested in increasing the alignment between scientific values and scientific practices. Despite developing some tools and infrastructure projects its stated mission is to “estimate the reproducibility of published psychological science.”

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Nature Magazine Special Issue: Data Replication & Repoducibility

Posted: December 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Data Sharing | Tags: , | Comments Off on Nature Magazine Special Issue: Data Replication & Repoducibility

The nature magazine has just published a special issue about data replication and reproducibility.

In their introduction the authors are claiming that replication is considered the scientific gold standard. To give a broader view about replication, the journal explores some of the issues associated with the replication of results in different scientific disciplines as for example primate cognition and behaviour research, computer sciences, biology and climate change studies.

Worth reading is the Editorial by J. Crocker and L. Cooper that is dealing with the fraud of Diederik Stapel and raises the question “what could be done to protect science and the public from fraud in the future?”. The answer of the authors, both psychologists, is:

“Greater transparency with data, including depositing data in repositories where they can be accessed by other scientists […], might have sped up detection of this fraud, and it would certainly make researchers more careful about the analyses that they publish.”

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Nature Magazine: Massive Fraud at Dutch Universities

Posted: November 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: fraud | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Nature Magazine: Massive Fraud at Dutch Universities

The nature magazine reported that the famous Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel had manipulated research data for years.

A Report [in Dutch] claimed that the prominent researcher of Tilburg University fabricated some of his eye-catching studies on social behaviour.

Actually at least 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals are in the focus of a committee that investigates the work of the  researcher.

The report says that Stapel often came up with a hypothesis and then designed an experiment to test it. Stapel took responsibility for collecting data and a few weeks later he produced a fictitious data file. In other cases Stapel received co-authorship after producing data he claimed to have collected previously that surprisingly exactly matched the needs of a colleague working on a study.

The data themselves were also curios the report mentioned: effects were large; missing data and outliers were rare; and hypotheses were rarely refuted.

Journals publishing Stapel’s papers did not question the omission of details about where the data came from.

In September Stapel was suspended from his position at Tilburg University – three young researchers had found irregulartities within his published data. An investigation followed – containing further papers and occupations in other universities, where Stapel worked prior to Tilburg University.

This is just another example that reflects the needs of publishing articels with their related research data. A task that is important for the quality of research as well as for the quality of scholarly journals.

Photo: ‘Fraud Key‘ by GotCredit on flickr.com. License: CC-BY-2.0